RYANAFFAIR ; We reveal why airline's cheeky ad liaison with cheaters website fails to take off [Eire Region] [Sunday Mirror (England)]
(Sunday Mirror (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) CHEEKY budget airline Ryanair planned a fling with an extramarital affairs website and was about to paint one of its planes pink, we can reveal.
A mock-up of a plane - made for raunchy Canadian website Ashley Madison - shows a jet emblazoned with the slogan "Life is short. Have an affair".
However, the EUR 120,000 deal was eventually dropped amid fears some passengers might be offended by the tongue-in-cheek advert.
Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman told the Irish Sunday Mirror his company was approached by the carrier.
He claims the airline had wanted to distinguish itself from the competition by coming up with a naughty campaign.
Mr Biderman said: "Ryanair came to us saying we're much more of a purple cow marketing company. We like to do things that people think 'no-no'. Ryanair said we would be happy to wrap one of our airlines on an interesting route that goes back and forth between two cities of interest.
"They said we would have an Ashley Madison affair route. It seemed really interesting at the outset. They mocked it up and looked at the pricing."
According to documents seen by the Irish Sunday Mirror, the twotiming plane would have been based in Barcelona, Spain.
The Catalan city would have been the perfect spot for a romantic tryst with its famously hectic nightlife and warm weather. And the aircraft would have flown to London Stansted or to one of Ryanair's 18 Italian destinations such as romantic Venice or fashionable Milan.
The route was expected to start in September or October 2013 and run for six months but the budget air carrier got cold feet.
Mr Biderman said he realised the plan would probably not go ahead when Ryanair refused to make certain guarantees.
He claims, for example, that the airline refused to commit to keeping the Ashley Madison logo and pink livery if customers complained.
Mr Biderman explained: "Then typical issues came to light. Would they guarantee the airline stayed wrapped even if there was flight complaints? What would happen if a family boarded a plane and said, 'this runs contrary to our values and we're not getting on it'? "We were up for it, we wanted to make sure they were up for it after they had contacted us.
"They were willing to take the shot but we had to take all the risk. The ultimate deal never came to fruition."
When the Irish Sunday Mirror contacted Ryanair about the ad, it was unusually shy. A spokeswoman said there was and is no campaign with Ashley Madison.
But this is not the first time the airline has landed in hot water over controversial marketing.
The carrier launched a charity calendar in 2008 featuring stewardesses dressed in lingerie or bikinis. The project was a huge success - despite being labelled sexist by critics.
But in the last six months, the airline has moved away from its controversial image in an attempt to become more family-friendly.
It now allows passengers to carry a handbag as well as one piece of carry-on luggage and every seat is allocated.
They mocked it up and looked at the pricing.. it seemed really interesting NOEL BIDERMAN ashley madison chief
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